Quilts are part of what life is all about. They provide an outlet for artistic expression, beautify homes, keep families warm and are an emotional comfort as well. The Homicide quilt at the Beauty and Brawn Gallery is providing a multi layered experience for the city beyond that of most quilts. Thanks to Rex Huppke and his sensitive and enlightening column, I became aware of this quilt. When I read his powerful words I knew this was a quilt that I needed to experience for myself.
This past weekend I traveled to the Beauty and Brawn gallery in Logan Square. The Homicide quilt was there as part of their Craft / Work exhibit. It is a quilt by El Stitch y Bitch collective to draw attention to the violence which plagues this beloved city of ours. For me, it personalized the homicides which I have not experienced. I was very moved by the quilt. It reminded me of my reaction to the photographs of victims displayed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
If we just hear about homicides on television or focus on the south side where the names are more crowded, we can disassociate from the people behind the statistics. We can feel safe in another world and not really think about it. But for me, to see the stitches that created the names, that made it real. That made other families' pain palpable to me.
I would urge you to visit this wonderful and unique gallery and experience this exhibit for yourself. While you are there, if you are lucky, you will meet the talented and dedicated owner of the space, Lindsey Meyers. A gifted artist/photographer, Ms. Meyers cares deeply about her city, her neighborhood, art and the violence which affects us all. If you get a chance, have a conversation with her. You will be a better person for having done so.
I took pictures of the quilt and some other pieces in the exhibit as well and invite you to peruse the photo gallery. Quilts are best when we can be in the same room with them and their fabrics but this is not always possible. For this reason, I endeavored to recreate this experience through a few digital pictures.
The power of quilts and the people who create them, that makes me Sew happy to be part of the quilting community.
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I have written about quilts created as part of grief as well as created one. You can read that post here.